Hollywood, baby !

Film-music

Ever since motion pictures came into being, music has played a key role in their story, from someone plinking away on an out-of-tune piano to a silent comedy, right up to the massive orchestral arrangements we hear today in epic blockbusters. Theme songs have become an art form in their own right: three of the best selling singles of all time have been film songs, namely I Will Always Love You, Everything I Do and My Heart Will Go On, while on the album front Saturday Night Fever and Dirty Dancing join The Bodyguard in the top three.

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My own personal interest lies more in the sweeping classical signature scores that underpin a movie, good or bad. Some average films are lifted because of great music (the three most recent Star Wars efforts, anyone ?), while some classics are let down by a poorly arranged or simply dated soundtrack (Scarface has a very 80s feel to it). In some cases, such as 2001: A Space Oddysey, it’s almost as if the already more-famous-than-the-film-itself music was written purely with the movie in mind and the two lift each other on to an entirely new level … and then there’s Hitchcock.
If ever one man knew his stuff, King Alfred was that man, forging a magnificent partnership with the supremely talented Bernard Herrmann, who had previously worked on Citizen Kane and went on to write the scores for .. well, scores more movies and TV shows including the haunting intro to The Twilight Zone, as well as the original version of Cape Fear and Taxi Driver.
Herrmann’s work on the likes of Psycho, Vertigo and North By Northwest remain at the pinnacle of the genre and I can’t imagine watching that shower scene without the dramatic descending notes thundering out as the blood (chocolate sauce in reality) drained out down the plug-hole of the bath …

This mix is a tribute to the marvelous marriage of music and movies and also turns into a bit of fun in terms of trying to guess each piece as it unfolds. Cinema buffs shouldn’t have a problem, but there might be one or two moments when you have to wrack your brains …

Enjoy !

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